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10 June 2008


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Aliens in the Family by Margaret Mahy. It's out of print but there are plenty of cheap, used copies available through amazon. I read it waaaaaaaaaaaaay back but I remember loving it.


Would they be a little young for 'A Wrinkle in Time?' (Maybe if it were read aloud instead of assigned reading...)


Whales on Stilts, by M.T. Anderson! It is completely over the top, but my 3rd-5th grade book group loved it. It has clever graphic jokes and is an easy read, plus you can walk around intoning "WHALES....ON.....STILTS!!!!" the way you'd say "PIGS.....IN.....SPACE!!!!" At least that's what I do.


The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh. I read it some time in elementary school, and it haunted me for years. In a good way.


Oh, good call Embley -- Whales on Stilts is fab!


My Teacher is an Alien, by Coville
Sylvia Waugh's trilogy-- Space Race, Earthborn, Who Goes Home?
I like Jill Paton Walsh's The Green Book better than any of these, though.


David Lubar's "weenie" short story collections!! each story is only 2-4 pages long.
"Curse of the Campfire Weenies," "Invasion of the Road Weenies" ... they're a bit more horror/fantasy, but there's some sci fi in there ;)


Maybe the A.I. Gang trilogy, by Bruce Coville?


I think third-graders could do Wrinkle in Time (if read aloud, since not all the kids would be at that reading level yet).

Also for reading aloud: The True Meaning of Smekday. My second-grader and a friend of his both loved it - it's hilarious and has a lot of deeper meanings.


Try Eleanor Cameron's Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet. Weird title, but I've had good responses from kids who I've recommended it to, especially boys.

Sylvia Waugh's Space Race is also a good pick for this age.

Jill Paton Walsh's The Green Book is still in print in paperback, and if you have a bunch of Narnia enthusiasts in your class, then they might be interested in Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet.


I second the vote for Eleanor Cameron - there is actually a whole series of Mushroom Planet books. They involve a couple of boys answering an ad in a newspaper and building a rocket ship and then helping the folks who live on the Mushroom Planet. Lots of awesomeoness.

You should also check out a book on Bradbury short stories and take a look. Most are older but I'm thinking of "R is for Rocket" in particular - it's about a boy going off to space academy or something like that and the themes of moving away and leaving a good friend behind are pretty standard, it's just that this kid is going away to outer space.


I absolutely second "The Green Book". It was one of my favorites in elementary school.


"Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left" by Robin Klein is fantastic - and perfect for that audience. It's mainly sci-fi, but has some good comedic undertones running through; it's hilarious as well. The Wikipedia page on it has some good information re the plot and... other stuff. Good luck! ^^

Thank you so much, everybody! This has been really helpful- I'm off to preview some sci-fi!


Although they aren't the greatest literature out there, the "I was a Third Grade ____________" (science project, spy, etc.) series by the Auchs are borderline Sci-fi. But Genevieve is spot on with Wrinkle in Time and Smekday - two of my favorites! Good Luck!


James and the Giant Peach or Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator?


I've not read it but how about ALIENS DON'T WEAR BRACES by Debbie Dadey. This is #7 of the Bailey School Kids series. And the students in the books are 3rd graders.


And really, when in doubt, turn to a library(an)! Here are just a few lists that I found compiled of books for this genre and this grade. Some of the books listed were repeats from above but there are several mentioned that might be helpful.






I would second "Whales on Stilts" and add "Can of Worms" by Kathy Mackel or "Club Earth" by Gail Gauthier. They are both really funny alien stories and a great intro to science fiction.

On a slightly higher level there is Andrew Clements "Things Unseen"

Michele LaForge

I second R is for Rocket and it may be a little bit older, but you might be able to use "Only You Can Save Mankind" by Terry Practhett which is funny and smart and sweet and has a good girl character as well as great boys. In seventh grade, many years ago to my 38 year old self, we had a science fiction unit and read both novels and short stories. I remember a short story collection (I believe there were poems and artwork in it as well) called Tomorrow. I picked up a copy a long time ago at a used book sale but don't know where it is at the moment. If you want more info, just say and I'll start looking. Good luck! How exciting!
Brunswick, Maine


How about Stinker from Space by Pamela Service, and the "Aliens for (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)" by Jonathan Etra.


what about the tripods series by Christopher? Really scary but the White Mountains was one of my faves in third grade.
PS I NEED Damalur-sol shirt.


I'll second Adam Rex's The True Meaning of Smekday!

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